Monday, May 14, 2012

The Chocolate Babka Incident

No, there's not snow on the ground in
Rochester. It just took me awhile to get
around to writing my story.
I was at Baker Street Bakery on Park Avenue buying a virtuous loaf of 100% whole wheat bread, when a worker plopped something in the half-price basket on the counter in front of me.

I knew it right away, though I had never eaten one. It was a large loaf topped with a thick layer of chocolate icing. It had to be a chocolate babka.

I have wondered about chocolate babka since an episode of the Seinfeld TV show repeated “babka” about 100 times. It first aired – can you believe it? – 18 years ago. (The relevant snip of the show is here.) Maybe it was the repetitive use of “babka,” but it stuck in my head as something I wanted to try.

I had thought about baking one myself. Martha Stewart’s recipe looks good,  but it seems like a lot of work. A cooking contest buddy, inspired by the same Seinfeld episode, based a Pillsbury Bakeoff finalist recipe on a chocolate babka. It looks yummy and easy, but I wanted the real deal.

My 17-year-old son recently discovered Seinfeld – in fact, he does a spot-on Seinfeld imitation – so I thought he’d get a kick out of having a chocolate babka. And I had always wanted to try one. Plus it was half price. So I grabbed it.

Baker Street Bakery's Chocolate Babka
As I was driving home, Seinfeld’s voice started running through my head. Or maybe it was my son imitating Seinfeld.

"Why would you buy that babka?

There must be a million calories in that babka!
A babka is not part of a healthy diet!

A babka isn't an everyday snack; a babka is  for a special occasion!

What kind of Mom brings home a babka for no reason?

What were you thinking, buying that babka?"

My son loved the babka. We all did. What’s not to like? A lightly sweet, slightly chewy bread, it had tunnels of chocolate filling and was topped with a thick layer of chocolate icing.

I’ll surely buy one again, but to avoid those voices in my head, I’ll save it for a special occasion.

Note: this column also appears in today's blog for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle's Flavors of Rochester website.

1 comment:

Stacey Queen of Rants and Ramblings said...

Now I am tempted to find... purchase... and eat a Babka.. :)

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